The so-called Pinnacle Portfolio will be billed as the most valuable private car collection ever when it goes up for auction at the annual Pebble Beach extravaganza in California.
Up for sale at the August 13-15 event will be some 30 standout cars, a couple of which are hugely exclusive. One is a 2005 Ferrari Enzo (above), build number 400 and the last one ever made; the other is a 2006 Bugatti Veyron 16.4, build number 001, the first.
Sitting below the heady heights the Enzo and Veyron occupy are a 1998 McLaren F1 LM, one of five built, a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider, one of the most coverted Ferraris, and another Veyron, a 2012 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, chassis no. 300.
The auctioneer’s car specialist Shelby Myers, says the Pinnacle Portfolio was assembled with a “clandestine, surgical precision, unlike any other that has come to market.”
“Its almost obsessive focus on perfection, rarity, and the superlative, irrespective of price, makes it the most significant and valuable private collection of motor cars ever presented at auction,” said Myers.
So who owns the Pinnacle Portfolio and why is it being liquidated? RM Sotheby’s won’t say, revealing only the owner’s gender. “He reached a level of collecting, and now he’d like to move to the next level of collecting,” said RM Sotheby’s managing director Ian Kelleher.
Whoever he is, he must know all the right people because owning the first and last of any car almost always comes at the invitation from the carmaker.
RM Sotheby’s hasn’t provided a pre-auction estimate of the value of the cars, although the market has put the McLaren F1 LM at between US$12-15 million.
The collection spans 57 years of automotive history and design. Among them are:
2005 Ferrari Enzo, chassis no. 141920: Unquestionably the most famous and desirable Enzo of all, this vehicle (top) is the 400th and last example built by Ferrari. It has only 180km on the clock and was gifted by former Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo to the late Pope John Paul II and later auctioned in support of tsunami victims. Unique fittings include a carbon fiber rear spoiler, Daytona seats, and an inscription by Montezemolo under the bonnet highlighting the papal connection.
1998 McLaren F1 “The Road Going LM”, chassis no. 073: Arguably the greatest supercar ever built, this road-race hybrid McLaren F1 is the 63rd and second-to-last road-specification example built. One of just two examples upgraded by McLaren Special Operations to feature an LM-spec engine and the ‘Extra High Downforce Package’, it retains its road-specification interior and features numerous upgrades, including satellite navigation.
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Alloy: One of 29 original aluminum-bodied Gullwings produced, it retains all original mechanical components, including the highly desirable Sonderteile motor and factory Rudge wheels; The ultimate Gullwing, it was fully restored by 300 SL specialist Kienle Automobiltechnik in Germany.
1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider, chassis no. 1307 GT: One of the most coveted of all Ferrari convertibles, this Classiche certified soft-top is the 23rd of just 50 long wheelbase examples. Considered one of the finest, and certainly the prettiest of the breed, 1307 GT is equipped with various rare factory-installed features, including a factory hardtop. Delivered new to Prince Alvise Hercolani of Bologna, it was later owned by racing driver Wolfgang Seidel and Ferrari historian Ed Niles.
1964 Ferrari 250 LM, chassis no. 6105: The 23rd 250 LM built, chassis 6105 was first shown at the 1964 Earl’s Court motor show. It was raced in its early years in Britain and Europe and has recently competed at vintage events such as the Goodwood Revival and Le Mans Classic. Certified by Ferrari Classiche as retaining all of its original mechanical components, chassis 6105 is considered by most Ferrari authorities to be in the upper echelon of surviving examples.